School of Medical and Health Sciences
Dietary compromises related to food insecurity profoundly undermine health and constitute a serious public health issue, even in developed nations. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of food labelling and product attributes on the purchasing choices of food-insecure households in Australia. An online survey containing 19 food choice and 28 purchasing behaviours questions was completed by 1056 adults responsible for household grocery shopping. The short form of the US Household Food Security Survey Module was used as the food security indicator. Multinomial logistic regression modelling was employed to analyse the survey data. Respondents were classified as having either high-marginal (63.4%, n = 670), low (19.8%, n = 209) or very low (16.8%, n = 177) food security. Respondents with low or very low food security status were less likely to self-report understanding the information on the back of packaging (p < 0.001), find information on food labels useful (p = 0.002) or be influenced by product nutrition information (p = 0.002). Convenience (p < 0.001), organic (p = 0.027) and supermarket-branded products (p < 0.001) were more likely to be rated as important by food-insecure respondents when compared to their food-secure counterparts. When asked to rate “how healthy” their diet was, high–marginal FS respondents were twice as likely describe their diet as healthy than very low FS respondents (p = 0.001).
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